I’ve installed it and I paid for the premium version however, when I try to download videos from websites I’m told: This operation requires an external application to be completed and that I need to install this “companion app”.
This worries me a great deal as I’ve got no idea what the companion app does!
I’m still researching this so I’d appreciate any advice!
This companion app will let you download a video that streams from a lot of segment files.
I don’t install it. But if I need this (can’t find any other way to get the video), I would probably install the whole Firefox, the extension, and the companion app in a container, using Distrobox for example.
I figured that installing a Firefox extension that has 1.9million users and is also recommended by Mozilla that it would be the safest tool to use to save videos from websites so I was shocked to see this request to “Install a companion App”
I have checked the extensions homepage, the following is their explanation as to why an external application may be required for some websites:
Video DownloadHelper is a browser extension software. As such, it relies on an interface provided by the browser (API) to its extensions to do the job. Chrome and Firefox (>=57) provide exclusively an API called WebExtensions that do not include a number of things required by Video DownloadHelper to do all the tasks. In particular, WebExtensions has no real support for writing files properly. After many discussions with Mozilla (the Firefox editors) engineers, it appeared that the only solution for providing the service was to install an external application aside of the browser.
Fortunately, WebExtension provides the ability to launch a specific application and communicate with it, it’s called Native messaging. This is a secure interface that ensures no other extension can take advantage of the coapp for performing any malicious activity.
So we developped a specific native application we called Video DownloadHelper Companion Application, or coapp. To ensure this application could be trusted by everyone, we released this application in open-source, i.e the program code can be read by anyone to check it is harmless. The source code of the coapp is available here.
Afaik this extension is legit. Just wondering why you would use it when there are decent alternatives that are just all-around simpler than an extension. In the end, whether browser extension or standard app, you should only use it if you trust it. So I don’t see the difference. Either you trust the developer, then yes you can use their extension and app, or you don’t, then you should use neither.